Josefine stood against the wall by the arch into the kitchen of Zaftigs Deli waiting for Bates to finish up closing. She heard Bates humming in the back and looked, stopping when something caught her eye in Dubickis office.

”Shiny, ” Wolf whispered from the dark and Josefine straightened up, glancing toward the kitchen to make sure no one would see before she crept inside. One wall was lined with shelves packed with various coffee presses, grinders, and brewers in an eclectic collection. The light shined off of various metals but what had drawn Josefines interest was a small earring—gold petals around a pearl center—that matched one of the items on Batess list of missing things.

Dubicki was a good man.

But then, people said that about Josefine, too.

”Doc? ” Josefine didn get to think much more on it before Dubicki was there at the door, ”What are you doing in here? ” She lifted the earring, spinning it between her fingers.

”Why do you have one of Batess earrings? ” His brow furrowed and he looked at the earring.

”Is that who it belongs to? I found it on the floor one day, it looked expensive so I hung onto it in case someone came back for it. ” If Dubicki was lying, he was quite impressive at it because as far she could tell, he was telling the truth.

”Oh, Doc, ” Bates stopped outside the office door, ”what are you and the boss talking about? ”

”Nothing, ” Josefine held out the earring, ”he found this here. ” Just to be sure, she watched Dubicki as Bates thanked him and came to get the earring from her—he looked at Bates with affection, but it seemed more like normal parent and child affection than anything touching on obsession.

Josefine hoped she had an accurate read of the relationship.

Wolf laughed at her.

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